Manchester United are currently being linked with Netherlands international Georginio Wijnaldum. The PSV Eindhoven player is also linked to Arsenal and Newcastle United in the run up to the summer transfer window, which should see many players change clubs. United manager Louis van Gaal is rumoured to be looking at a number of targets, which he has since confirmed he started doing during January in a bid to ensure transfer business is complete ahead of their pre-season tour of the United States of America and the early start to the Barclays Premier League next season.
With the likes of Darren Fletcher and Anderson leaving the club during the January transfer window, and Tom Cleverley being out of contract in the summer, United’s midfield will require additional players, especially if European football returns to the Old Trafford club next season, which is looking likely at this moment in time. Currently Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini are the experienced midfielders at the club, which the addition on Daley Blind, who is currently filling in at left-back with the absence of Luke Shaw, with the former Ajax man doing well in that position.
United will need cover for Carrick, who left the pitch, leaving his side with only ten men against Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday. Blind has covered for the England midfielder, but that would also leave the left-back role needing cover, with the absence of Shaw at least. Louis van Gaal’s side have been linked to many players already with Kevin Strootman and Paul Pogba both seeming unlikely and interest in İlkay Gündoğan reportedly being ruled out. Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, who will be a free agent this summer, has been linked with the club, and now Wijnaldum of PSV has been added to that list.
Wijnaldum has scored 16 goals for his club this season in 39 appearances in all competition, also assisting in a further three goals. For the Netherlands, the player has scored once, against Brazil in the third place play-off during last summers FIFA World Cup. United are currently linked to Wijnaldum’s club and country team-mate, Memphis Depay, who is likely to leave the club this summer, which has been confirmed by coach Phillip Cocu. Reported by the Daily Mail, Wijnaldum has spoken about wanting to play in a stronger league and confirms he has spoken to Queens Park Rangers’ Leroy Fer and Newcastle United’s Tim Krul. He said:
“I am happy at PSV but I am a player with a lot of ambition. I want to play in a stronger league than the Eredivisie.
“With my quality I feel I can bring a lot to a team that I will join. I want to show it in the big leagues; England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France.
“I speak with Leroy Fer and Tim Krul about England a lot. Tim has been in England since he was 17. He only says good things about England and living in Newcastle.
“The stadium is big with 50,000 people, the fans are great and life is great there.
“You have better players and teams in England, and for myself it is better to play in a better league against better players.”
Is Wijnaldum good enough to play for Manchester United? That is the question that many seem to be asking. Whilst he is not a world-class player, yet, there is no reason why, under the right management, he could not be. Many United supporters seem to be obsessed with signing world-class players, which is great and all, but we do not need world-class players in every position like they have at Real Madrid. United are a different club. Balance seems to be something that Louis van Gaal likes and as proven with Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini, you do not need to be world-class in order to play well.
Angel Di Maria is a world-class player and despite him scoring four goals and assisting eleven this season in all competitions, he is a player that receives a lot of criticism from sections of the clubs supporters, who do not want to give him a chance and would like to see him sold in the summer. If scoring four goals and assisting in eleven further goals is classes as a failure, albeit from midfield (mostly), I would hate to see a season where the word ‘failure’ would actually happen. It is just an example of how world-class players may come to the club with high expectations and if they are not met, supporters become fickle and end up wanting the player out. That is one of the reasons why world-class players are not always a necessity.
Louis van Gaal’s philosophy, which has shown itself in recent weeks, seems to rely on squad balance, which does not just mean bodies in different areas of the pitch, getting into position to ensure the opposition is starved of the ball. The players involved are a variety of world-class and of lesser quality, and it world. A team of ego’s is not something that many managers want to manage, look at City. Each player is an ego and a player for themselves, not the team. That would be something that cannot be considered as anything less than failure. Wijnaldum has had a good season, albeit in the Eredivisie, but look at Daley Blind, he came from the same league and had adapted very well, like many other Dutch players over time. The Dutch international could be another player that will bolster United’s midfield for years to come and he is certainly better than the likes of Anderson and Tom Cleverley, so if Louis van Gaal is interested in the player, why not?